Frequently Asked Questions


What is an Open Standard?

Open Standards are publicly available specifications that provide a common method of achieving a particular goal.

Open Standards are developed in a collaborative environment by a recognized industry standards organization (Like the IETF). They are platform independent, vendor-neutral and do not depend on any commercial intellectual property.

The fact that you are able to read this document illustrates an Open Standard. The growth of the web is largely as a result of the widespread adoption of the HTML standard by content creators, software developers and publishers. Anyone can create a web page knowing that visitors from around the world using different web browsers on a variety of operating systems can view it.


Who are the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)?

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) develops and promotes Internet standards. It is organized into a large number of working groups, each dealing with a specific topic.

You can find out more about the IETF at their homepage.


Why are Open Standards important?

A lack of Open Standards results in a fragmented market for mobile email products, reducing choice and locking providers and end-users into proprietary systems.

Open Standards broaden the choices for end users demanding a service and email service providers supplying it. Until now the market for effective mobile email has been constrained by competing and incompatible formats, service standards and platforms. Open Standards mean that any complaint handset will work with any compliant server, increasing choice and driving down costs.

By broadening choice, Open Standards allow small and medium sized providers of email services to compete on a level footing with larger players.

Crucially, no-one is going to sue you for adopting an Open Standard, no-one is going to threaten the service you receive or provide via a court injunction.


Do I need a special phone to take advantage of LEMONADE?

No. Many phone manufacturers are incorporating LEMONADE support into the embedded email clients shipped with their handsets. If you have an existing smartphone then you can purchase a new email client for installation on your Windows Mobile, Symbian or Palm device, preserving your investment in your current handset.


As an email service provider, how do I offer a LEMONADE compliant service to my users?

LEMONADE compliant IMAP and SMTP servers are coming onto the market now. Those servers, together with a compliant email client for existing or new handsets or other mobile devices are all that is needed to offer efficient, effective mobile email access to your users/customer today.


How do these Open Standards translate into functional improvements in the way that I utilize email?

Please see the Quick Guide on this site for examples.


Who provides LEMONADE compliant servers and email clients?

Active development of LEMONADE compliant servers and email clients is taking place today. Some of that development effort is coming from members of the LEMONADE working group.

Some is coming from other companies who realize the importance of developing interoperable products. Known vendors of compliant server and client products are listed on this page.


I use or provide mobile email utilizing hardware and software from a company that has developed its own 'standard'. Why not stick with them?

You run the risk of being locked in to that supplier, their development process, their market view and their pricing structure. Your opportunities to supplement or improve on that core service with additions or improvements provided by other, more cost-competitive, companies are zero.

As this 'standard' is owned by one company, other companies in the mobile email market are excluded from the standard development process. They have no incentive to cooperate with the owner of that standard, in fact they have every incentive to develop a competing proprietary standard, even if it is totally incompatible with the first and doesn't improve on it.


What benefits will mobile operators see from the adoption of LEMONADE?

There are no intellectual property rights considerations (and expenses) to be taken into account when incorporating LEMONADE support into the handset client. The handset client cost should therefore be lower than incorporating proprietary system support.

The use of existing (IMAP) mail systems, with no need for gateway systems will also keep the core infrastructure costs down.